Costantino, Richardson stymie Connecticut offense with superb performances in net

first_img Published on March 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm Contact Josh: jmhyber@syr.edu Syracuse goalkeepers Alyssa Costantino and Kelsey Richardson have shown over the course of the season, especially in SU’s last two games, just how lethal of a tandem they are. Syracuse head coach Gary Gait has a unique luxury of choosing between two high-quality goalies, and lately his choices have been spot on.Richardson, a sophomore, allowed no goals in the first half in No. 6 Syracuse’s (4-2, 1-0 Big East) 18-7 victory over Connecticut (6-1, 0-1) on Friday at the Carrier Dome. Before UConn scored at the 25:28 mark of the second half, Richardson and Costantino  held opponents scoreless for 67 minutes and 31 seconds, dating back to SU’s win over Towson on March 9.Gait said the scoreless streak was a result of a strong combined effort by his goalkeepers and his defense.“In both games our ride has been tremendous,” Gait said. “We’ve caused a ton of turnovers and have limited the number of opportunities that the other team has had. And until the last ten minutes of the game [today] we did an unbelievable job of limiting their offense and the number of shots they had.”Connecticut scored four goals in the last minute and 19 seconds of the game, long after the outcome had been decided and when many SU reserves were on the field. The quick burst turned an 18-3 rout into a more respectable 18-7, making the goalkeeping and defensive stats look worse than they actually were.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange defense held the Huskies to 18 shots, with only five coming in the first half. Becca Block, Natalie Glanell and Katie Webster held UConn leading scorer Lauren Kahn (who came into the game with 16 goals, 14 assists) virtually silent. Kahn took just two shots, one of which came with a minute and 39 seconds remaining when the game had been long decided.Richardson faced five shots in the first half and two in the second, allowing just one goal in 45 total minutes before being replaced by Costantino at the 15:49 mark of the second half. The sophomore finished with six saves.“I credit that a lot to my defense,” Richardson said. “And the ride. The attack played awesome riding. And our defense, they had a lot of what would have been fast breaks, but our defense got back in, defended well, and gave me a lot of pressured shots. Which are easy saves.”The Orange held a 13-1 lead when Costantino entered.Connecticut midfielder Catherine Gross hit the post with 9:17 remaining in the first half; Richardson made a nice stick save on UConn midfielder Elizabeth Brown on a free-position shot with three minutes left in the first half to preserve the shutout. For the first half, the Huskies didn’t come closer to scoring than that.SU’s scoreless goalkeeping streak came to an end when Huskies midfielder Morgan O’Reilly scored at the 25:28 mark of the second half.With the Orange leading 16-1 at the 13:41 mark, Gait “reached deep” in his bench and gave several inexperienced players the chance to play. The Huskies outscored the Orange six to two for the remainder of the game.Connecticut’s second goal of the game, which came from the stick of Carly Palmucci, didn’t come until the 11:02 point of the second half. Gross scored a free-position goal moments later to make it 16-3.The four-goal onslaught started with a free-position shot goal from attack Ally Fazio, followed by goals from O’Reilly, Katherine Finkelston and O’Reilly again.And apart from the last minute of the game, an outlier that will sway the stats to look worse than reality, Costantino and Richardson made saves when they needed to.“I thought Regy Thorpe put a great plan together,” Gait said. “…Our team did a great job and really made it tough for them to score.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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